General Question

Scrumpulator's avatar

Should penilties be stronger on random acts of violence?

Asked by Scrumpulator (564points) July 28th, 2008

Stronger then they are of course, Measure 11, in Oregon, causes for mandatory minimum sentences for cases of assault where the assaulter uses an object (knife, pool cue, ashtray, bike, you name it) it can carry a ten year minimum.

People tend to get hurt a lot worse when there is an object in hand. But say, I throw an ashtray and it hits you in head, you get stitches, should I go to prison for 10 years? I would not get such a harsh sentence if i broke your arm.

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6 Answers

damien's avatar

I think the penalties should be stronger but I think there shouldn’t be maximum or minimum sentences for anything. I think every crime should be evaluated for the damage, loss, severity, etc. caused and it should go off that.

I find it bizarre that some sentences can seem incredibly long for what I consider to be lesser crime. For example, some drug smugglers or money launderers seem to end up with sentences as long as some rapists and murderers.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Well Scrumpulator, I do not know exactly what that law in Oregon reads, however I would imagine they made it so broad because if they didn’t then thugs would start using ashtrays to beat your head in. So making it this broad gives the prosecuting attorney a lot of discretion to look at each case and decide if the person really was intending to use this object as a weapon, or if some kid just lost it for a second and threw an ashtray at some jerks head. 99% of the time the prosecuting attorney makes a good judgment call on this and everyone is happy. the other 1% of the time it is kind of a gray area and well, that’s what good lawyers are for. Also, for that 1% of the time, usually there is more going on behind the scenes than what the media reports on. Maybe the guy has a laundry list of crimes from before, or the prosecutor just knows the guy is a real thug and is using this offense to put him behind bars because its easier to prosecute than what ever else they might have on him.

robmandu's avatar

Based on your spelling in the Question, I gotta ask, you want stronger punishment applied to what exactly?

marinelife's avatar

Taking your example, if your intent was to kill me, and by some stroke of luck, I was not that badly injured, yes I think you deserve ten years. If you were throwing an ashtray because you were angry and had no intent to hit me, and I came out of it OK, then perhaps not.

There are a lot of factors involved. That is why judicial discretion makes the most sense in sentencing.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Why should the penalty automatically be higher?

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